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What type of real estate deed in Ohio is right for me? Is a real estate deed the same thing as title?

What Type of Real Estate Deed in Ohio is Right for Me?

What type of real estate deed in Ohio is right for me? Is a real estate deed the same thing as title? These are two questions often asked by purveyors and purchasers of real estate. In short, one is a physical legal document while the other is more appropriately defined as a concept.

A deed is a written legal instrument used to transfer real estate whereas title is a legal position indicating the buyer has taken ownership of the property. Having title means a person has the legal right to use a specific property. In a nutshell, the deed is the physical legal document, stamped and attested, conveying the property to the owner stating they now have title to the real estate.

Generally speaking, property will transfer via a Grantor to a Grantee via an executed deed, however there are exceptions. One example is when the government uses eminent domain power to acquire private property for a public improvement, where a court may order the transfer of real estate in Ohio without a deed. Another example, albeit quite rare, the court may order the transfer of a property due to continuous possession by a person other than the owner. Ohio law requires a transfer of real estate to be in writing. While I do not endorse any specific attorney or firm, Carlile Patchen & Murphy wrote a great article clarifying the different types of deeds.

Deeds recognized in Ohio:

  • General Warranty Deed.
  • Limited Warranty Deed.
  • Warranty Deed Creating Tenants-In-Common With The Right Of Survivorship (Also may be known as “Joint and Survivorship Deed”)
  • Quit Claim Deed.
  • Special Purpose Deeds.
    • Fiduciary Deed
    • Transfer on Death Designation Afffidavit (T.O.D.) formerly known as a Transfer on Death Deed.

Deed not recognized in Ohio:

  • Ohio does not recognize joint tenancy with right of survivorship—a common-law form of joint ownership under which a surviving co-owner automatically receives a deceased co-owner’s interest.

Deed Requirements in Ohio:

  • Identify the current owner (“grantor”) and the new owner (“grantee”)
  • Delineate the marital status of the grantor
  • Specifically describe the land to be transferred (a street address is not enough; a legal description is required); and
  • Contain language saying that the grantor “grants” the property to the grantee. 
  • Include the tax mailing address of grantee
  • Release of dower if applicable
  • Reference to the prior deed
  • Signed by Grantor(s)
  • Dated
  • Notary acknowledgement

Dower Rights:

Ohio law gives a spouse “dower” rights, which means that after death, a spouse may claim an interest in the property even though it has been sold, and even though the spouse’s name does not appear on the deed. The spouse must sign the deed releasing dower to the buyer to clear the dower interest from the title.

Before you take title of a property and get the deed, you should consider retaining a title company to perform a title search. This process is meant to ensure the seller has the legal right to sell the property to you, and to check that there are no liens on the property. It is important to note that a title search is not the same as an attorney letter of opinion or a title insurance policy. Assuming the title is clear, the seller will transfer the title to the buyer at closing. After closing, the title company will typically take care of recording the deed with the county assessor’s office or courthouse. Once the paperwork has been filed, the buyer officially has both deed and title to the real estate property.

When the time comes to sell your home, it may be prudent to consider utilizing an Ohio Broker Direct Flat Fee MLS Listing rather than going the traditional route.

Selling real estate on your own without the assistance of a traditional service Real Estate Brokerage will require both commitment and due diligence for which you may be rewarded by saving thousands of dollars in commissions. Maximizing marketing exposure is key. We have SOLD well over a BILLION DOLLARS in Real Estate & Saved Sellers Millions of Dollars in Real Estate commissions. Please contact our team to learn how the For Sale By Owner Flat Fee MLS Listing Options at Ohio Broker Direct will enhance your marketing exposure to ensure a more expeditious sale, yielding a higher price with better terms that suit your specific needs. Reach out to us directly, visit our blog page or sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest information to ensure you have the knowledge to maximize your profit.


Joan Elflein, Broker / Ohio Broker Direct Ohio Broker Direct & its Brokers or Associates assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in this blog, we advise all participants engaged in the buying or selling of Real Estate to enlist the services of a Real Estate Attorney.

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